Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Global Markets: Stocks, dollar retreat after U.S.-North Korea summit

Global Markets: Stocks, dollar retreat after U.S.-North Korea summit

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are chatting over a lunch of beef short ribs, sweet and sour crispy pork, and braised codfish. Beyond the impact on both leaders' political fortunes, the summit could shape the fate of countless people - the citizens of impoverished North Korea, the tens of millions living in the shadow of the North's nuclear threat, and millions more worldwide.

And Kim's commitments did not appear to go beyond what he already pledged to do in April when he met South Korean President Moon Jae-in along their countries' border.

He said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis should oppose the one-on-one meeting "in writing". His sessions with Kim amounted to the most robust contact ever between the United States and the North Korean leader, providing critical information about a man about whom little is known.

"This is more of a case of 'we'll believe it when we see it, ' rather than actually reacting", said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial in Waltham, Massachusetts. She previously worked as an English-language interpreter for a North Korean delegation attending now-stalled six-nation nuclear disarmament talks.

In late March, Trump tweeted with messages of optimism about "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", with mention that Kim would do "what is right for his people and for humanity".

Joseph Yun, former USA envoy for North Korea policy, alluded to that when he told a Senate hearing last week that there's a risk of "overloading the agenda" for the summit.

"China might have wanted to prevent Chinese smugglers from entering North Korea so they cracked down on smuggling organizations in the border area few days ago and arrested number of smugglers", he said.

The summit with Trump is the culmination of months of posturing and negotiating between top U.S. and North Korean officials and comes less than two weeks after Trump reversed his decision to scrap plans for the meeting, which is set to take place in Singapore.

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US President Donald Trump, fourth left, and his delegation share a working lunch Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his team during the US leader's visit to The Istana, the official residence of the prime minister, in Singapore on June 11, 2018.

Their first meeting will be at 1pm at the Capella Hotel, a five-star resort on Singapore's Sentosa Island - and a former pirate haunt.

So the summit was almost derailed by talk from Trump's hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton of a "Libya model" of disarmament.

It was a striking about-face from less than a year ago, when Trump was threatening "fire and fury" against Kim, who in turn scorned the American president as a "mentally deranged USA dotard".

North Korea has said it is willing to commit to denuclearisation, but it is unclear how this will be achieved or what might be requested in return.

Then aides to Trump and Kim will join the two leaders for an expanded bilateral meeting at 10 a.m. Later in the day, he met with senior advisers and phoned the leaders of Japan and South Korea. During past negotiations, North Korea has reneged on agreements, and after getting what they wanted, and then failed to hold up their end of the bargain. "If they don't denuclearise, that will not be acceptable", Mr Trump said ahead of the meeting.

Experts are sceptical. At best, the meeting will likely provide a road map for future talks, each round of which will require hard and complex negotiations.

Kim told reporters he was able to overcome obstacles to make his way to the Singapore summit.

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